Professor Dame Carol Robinson giving the inaugural Frederick Soddy lecture on Monday 20 February 2017 - Photo: © Bertie Beor-Roberts (2014)

The Frederick Soddy Society

Merton's Chemistry Society is named after the Merton chemist, Frederick Soddy, who won a Nobel Prize in 1921 "for his contributions to our knowledge of the chemistry of radioactive substances, and his investigations into the origin and nature of isotopes." All Merton chemists (both MCR and JCR) are automatically members.

For JCR members, the year starts with the annual chemistry tea during Freshers' week, an opportunity to meet other chemists at Merton. This is then followed by a chemistry formal dinner in the middle of Michaelmas term. There is also a chemistry picnic arranged for Trinity Term as a break from exams! These events provide opportunities for chemists across all four years to get to know each other and share their experiences, resulting in a close-knit community of undergraduate chemists at Merton.

All members are invited to the Frederick Soddy Society dinner, which falls in Hilary Term. The annual Frederick Soddy lecture, introduced in 2017, is held before the dinner in the TS Eliot Lecture Theatre and features a prominent chemist talking about their work and career.

Frederick Soddy Lecturers

2021: Dr Xiangyu Jie, Junior Research Fellow in Chemistry, Merton College.

2020: Professor Madhavi Krishnan, Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Oxford, Fellow of Merton College.

2019: Professor Hagan Bayley FRS, Professor of Chemical Biology at the University of Oxford, Fellow of Hertford College.

2018: Professor Tim Softley FRS, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Birmingham; former Merton Fellow and Physical Chemistry Tutor, and Head of Chemistry at Oxford (2011-2015).

2017: Professor Dame Carol Robinson DBE FMedSci FRS, Dr Lee's Professor of Chemistry, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford.
The inaugural Frederick Soddy lecture was held on Monday 20 February 2017; Professor Robinson spoke about her research on mass spectrometry and her career so far, as well as how women can have successful career and family lives.